Meet Louise Barkes. Louise is employed by Girlguiding to ensure as many girls, young women and volunteers benefit from the amazing opportunities offered by guiding.

Louise started her role in January and is part of an initiative to ensure all girls and young women can get involved with their communities, grow in confidence, reach their full potential and enjoy the fun and adventure of guiding.

The initiative has been made possible in Dartford thanks to a special fund given to Girlguiding as part of the Youth United network, on behalf of the Cabinet Office. It was awarded to Girlguiding as it is a charity which works to engage young people in their local community and regularly involves girls in positive social action.

Louise who previously worked in Learning and Development and has two young daughters herself said: “I am really excited to be welcoming even more girls and young women to guiding. I’ve met some truly inspirational people who are so keen to make a difference to girls’ lives by volunteering with us and I can’t wait to meet more.”

Louise is part of a group of Development Workers, employed to reach out to all communities to ensure guiding is open to all. The Development Workers are scattered throughout the UK and set on increasing opportunities for girls and young women, as well as engaging with adults who are interested in volunteering.

Louise said: “We want all girls, wherever they live or whatever their circumstances, to benefit from guiding. It’s an organisation which invests in girls and young women, giving them vital life skills such as team work, leadership and getting them into the habit of taking positive action for their communities.”

Through its campaign to grow guiding, the charity is working to open up opportunities to all girls and young women no matter where they live.

As part of the initiative, Girlguiding allocates grants to help kick-start groups, from helping with training volunteers, resources, uniforms or improvements to a meeting venue.

Girlguiding is one of the leading youth organisations working in partnership with the Youth United Foundation, set up by the Youth United Network in 2012 to engage more young people in their communities.


Girlguiding opens up a world of exciting challenges to girls aged five to 25, giving them the space to try new things and make friends for life. Girls take part in a hugely varied weekly programme incorporating everything from world issues and science to adventure sports and international travel.

If you are interested in volunteering or you are a parent/guardian or girl interested in joining guiding contact Louise by email at louise.barkes@girlguiding.org.uk or follow her on Twitter @Louise_KW_DW.